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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  October 29, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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authority here in new york. it reads in part "the new york city subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night. we are we are assessing the extent of the damage and beginning the process of recovery." now, what we heard earlier at least 14 hours to 4 days before they could start thinking about getting some things back online in the subway system which serves 5 million plus people a day. good morning, i'm chris jansing, you are watching msnbc's continuing coverage of superstorm sandy. we'll be live throughout the night and have reporters all across the region and msnbc meteorologist bill karins is on hand with us in new york. a quarter of a million of people without power are right here on the island of manhattan. and an emergency plan -- an emergency developed at new york university hospital on the east side of the city when that
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facility lost power forcing the evacuation of hundreds of patients just as the storm was at its most severe. rehema ellis is there covering it for the last several hours. what's the latest? >> reporter: chris, i can tell you it's an eerie scene where you go up to a hospital and there's just row after row of emergency vehicles of ambulances, they're not there dropping patients off for care, but they have lined up to pick up patients. more than 215 patients and transport them, evacuate them from the hospital to another facility. transporting them because as you say, they have lost power in this area. new york city's mayor michael bloomberg talked about there are massive power outages and flooding in the area. you can see the lights behind me but when my cameraman will pan up a little bit, take a look, you can see the traffic light but the power is out. imagine what it will be like in
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the morning if we still do not have power and people decide to come out on these roads. they want to effect this evacuation tonight for the patients because it was the timely thing to do but you also want to get it done before you get so many more people out on the street and there is no power affecting control of how the traffic would flow. it could be a very dangerous situation down here in the morning, chris, if people decide to come out and get in their cars to sort of see what's going on in the area. >> as far as you could tell, these evacuations have the hospital went well. we got a statement from mt. sinai hospital they were all ready to go, ready to accept the patients. there's been no difficulties in spite of the obvious challenges there? >> reporter: absolutely, chris, fire truck going behind us. we have no reports of any difficulties. no reports of any panic or any chaos, but you have to imagine how unsettling it might be for a patient and we're even told that they're evacuating some pediatric patients, some children are being taken out of
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the hospital to other places, so -- and in some instances maybe their parents may not be with them. pretty unsettling for the patients but by all indications and reports it's going pretty smoothly. >> let me ask you to shift gears. before we asked you to go downtown to cover these evacuations from nyu medical center you were up at midtown, one of the most dramatic scenes unfolded earlier in the day when a crane collapsed on top of a high-rise apartment building that is under construction. tell us about what happened there, rehema. >> reporter: it's a $1.5 billion luxury high-rise under construction in midtown manhattan. 57th street. it is a very popular place, and all of a sudden around 2:00 in the amp as a witness said he was walking down the street on 57th street and heard something that sounded like a loud steel door
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slamming shut and he looked and ten yards away there was pieces of metal on the ground. he didn't even know what had happened until he got back to his hotel room and he watched the news to find out that the top of this crane had tipped and he narrowly escaped what would have been a serious disaster. everyone was evacuated from the area because that crane, as we understand, is still hanging precariously over 65 stories above 57th street. chris? >> do they have any idea what happened, rehema? >> reporter: they're not reporting out at this point what happened. we suspect it's a question, as a consequence of the strong winds. we were told that at the time that the crane -- the report came in about the crane collapse. the winds were blowing at about 20 miles per hour, but gusting at 40 miles per hour. we saw an associated press report that said at 40 miles per hour down on the ground it might have been gusting at 90 miles
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per hour. more than 60, 65, 70 stories above. and the crane just could not handle it. still photographer took a picture with a telescopic lens and we could see there were just three steel cables that were holding that crane, that toppled crane in place. before we left there, that crane, which had base park pointing south, the strong gusting winds had forced it to turn southwest before we left. again, they had set up a collapse zone. no cars, no pedestrians. they evacuated the apartment buildings, the businesses, even the hotel in the area was evacuated. guests were moved to other hotels because imagine what kind of a horrible scene it could be if that crane does, indeed, come down and there are people in the area. chris? >> one of the many challenges that we'll be facing, officials across the eastern seaboard
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tomorrow when light comes. rehema ellis, doing great reporting throughout the day at multiple locations, thanks to you. the runways at laguardia and jfk are underwater. all the new york city airports had been officially closed but now only laguardia is closed as of last night. the port authority, which oversees the new york city area -- airports has opened the others which is jfk, the major international airport, newark over on the new jersey side then a couple of smaller airports, teterboro and stuart are officially open. that is not to say that flights will be going out and you probably know that thousands of flights are already backlogged so it is an absolute mess. there are people, for example, who are stranded at heathrow who are stranded elsewhere abroad because they can't get flights into the united states and, of course, there's a domino effect domestically, as well.
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that's another developing story that we're watching and, of course, this deadly storm is not without its political implications. president obama was asked about that earlier when he spoke to reporters at the white house. >> i want to thank all the federal teams, state an local teams that are in place. i'm confident that we're ready, but i think the public needs to prepare for the fact that this is going to take a long time for us to clean up. the good news is we will clean up and we will get through this. all right. >> what impact on the election? >> i am not worried at this point about the impact on the election. i'm worried about the impact on families and worried about the impact on our first responders. i'm worried about the impact on our economy and on transportation. you know, the election will take care of itself next week. right now our number one priority is to make sure that we are saving lives that are search and rescue teams will be in place, that people are going to get the food, the water, the shelter they need in case of
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emergency, and that we respond as quickly as possible to get the economy back on track. >> and, of course, the election now, it is tuesday, the election is now one week away. the president has cleared his campaign schedule for tomorrow to deal with the after-effects of sandy. we had originally heard that mitt romney would not be campaigning. now he will be holding an event in ohio, which they are calling storm relief event. i don't have any much further details on that. but, again, obviously this has taken not just a toll in terms of lives, in terms of costs of lost businesses, of the damage that has been done, but there are these huge political implications a week before the election a lot of early voting going on across the country, so that's something else that we'll get evaluated as this day goes on. let's talk a little about connecticut. this is a state that has lost 600,000 -- has left 600,000
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utility customers in the dark. much of the coastline has been hit very hard. there are towns that are underwater. reporter jeff stecker from nbc station wvit in old saber, connecticut, gave us this update a short time ago. >> reporter: where we're standing right now is about to my upper thighs and water so it's receded. that was the big problem. behind me some guys are checking on a building here that fronts right up to the connecticut river to give you a sense of where we are, this is where the connecticut river spills into the long island sound. i heard you talking about the extent of the damage there and i heard from over here one of the guys yell holy something and i suspect that the damage is pretty significant. to give you a sense of how much the surge has gone down now, as i'm walking here we'll get to a point here where you see this debris on the ground. this is where the water came up here. the problem being that around these low-lying areas there are so many homes that are lower
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than we are and there are a lot of neighborhoods in old saybrook and several communities that are completely cut off and still cut off despite the surge going down. in fact, about three miles from where we are in old saybrook we know there are two houses on fire and there may be a third and the fire crews can't get there because the roads are still impassable. there are several areas where there's still so much water that they simply can't get through. the other problem is this, trees down everywhere. when we talked to the police chief in old saybrook he said there was a point for about a two-hour period where they kept on hearing tree after tree after tree coming down. and we still have some wind here. it's not completely gone yet. it's certainly nothing close to what we saw at the height of the storm. but there's still some wind here and obviously with the surge, a lot of these roots have been weakened so there's still the fact that these trees can still come down. we still have power lines out and power out. when they're out in the streets they can't see where they're
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going. lots of dangerous places you can get yourself into and a lot of people's homes still surrounded by water and told people if you're trapped don't go outside. go upstairs. get to the second floor. get to any upper floor you can. at some point there's only so much that first responders could do. they were kept away and when we heard from the governor earlier tonight you could sense a real tone that he was pretty ticked off a lot of people in these area did not follow those mandatory evacuation orders because what then that does puts first responders, police officer, firefighters in a position to save people and we've seen a lot of that around here. i know from my colleagues up and down the shoreline, they've seen the same thing, as well. >> reports of as many as 600,000 without power in connecticut. communities that don't have electricity. can you see power from anywhere you are? >> reporter: well, you know, that's actually 600,000 customers so when you're talking about people it's a lot more than that. we only have a little over 3
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million people in connecticut so you have a significant population here without power tonight. we're actually next to a hotel resort that has generator power and this is one of the few places that does have power. if you look at the power grid outage maps along the shoreline nearly every community is at least 75% or more out at this hour and as we saw with irene and then with the october snowstorm, it can take a long time, perhaps a week or even nine or ten days before the power gets restored for a lot of these folks. >> and that is the latest from old saybrook, connecticutment we want to go back to cape may, new jersey. we told you this is a continually developing story and more weather effects being felt although the worst is over. jay gray is there and i understand it started raining again. >> reporter: yeah, chris, we have seen a little more rain dropping in which is exactly what they don't need in this small community. there's already been some flooding problems.
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that's going to continue obviously as the advance of rain moves through and really it's slowing down the effort to get out and assess the situation. we're also really seeing intense winds that continue to whip around this area. there is some damage to buildings in the city. there's some damage to the infrastructure here. but, again, we can't get to exactly how much damage because those first responders we've been talking about all night aren't going to get out and really assess things until this storm moves through. so right now we're in a situation where we know there's some damage. we know there's some flooding. but the extent of that won't be known until sometime tomorrow morning. >> how far is it and it's been a little while since i've been to cape may, how far from the actual waterfront to where homes are? >> it's probably, chris, and this is just eyeballing the situation, but it's probably 300 to 400 yards till you get to the first homes and also you have some hotels and things like that along the shoreline here.
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i can tell you i talked to one home owner maybe an hour ago who had made the trip, we're holed up in a hotel at one of the highest points in cape may. made the trip a couple blocks to check on his home. what he said at that point that there had been some water that had breached the home and had gotten inside. not to the point where he felt like it was a complete loss by any means but there's definitely water inside and, again, that was before we saw these winds continue to whip like they have so no telling what that has done to the situation here. >> all right, thank you very much, jay gray, who has continued to report to us throughout the evening from there in cape may, new jersey. new jersey so hard hit and at this point at least 13 deaths have been reported as a result of this storm in new jersey, new york, west virginia, pennsylvania, connecticut, many of them blamed on falling trees, at least one on the storm in
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canada, as well, and we were just telling you a short time ago they're starting to feel the effects in the midwest and will continue to over the next day or two. our live coverage of sandy will continue right after this quick break. the wheat in every mini-wheat has gotta be just right. perfect golden color. rich in fiber. my dad taught me, and i taught my son out there. morning, pa. wait... who's driving the...?
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you can see that the fire is burning up on that front lawn. at this point it shows no sign
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of going out. one of the firefighters told me they have to wait until it trips a fuse inside the transformer itself before, sorry, jim, before, you know, they can do anything so they're just monitoring it. those people are so thankful to have gotten out okay. the house itself is not on fire but those embers creeping ever closer to homes nearby and a lot of people had cars on the street. one person told me a car is underneath a tree but they did get people to get their cars off the street so, "a," they could get the fire trucks in and "b," it wouldn't spread to their vehicles sea an active scene in teaneck. >> that was pat battle in teaneck, new jersey. i'm being handed new information about power outages, the latest number, 7.1 million people and just to give you an idea of the extent of it, throw out a few more numbers, con edison, which
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covers new york city and west chester county, 634,000 plus and on long island, we were telling you, for example, on fire island there are home as long the waterfront, at least seven of them, we believe, that went into the water. 844,000, almost 845,000 customers without power on long island, connecticut light and power close to 500,000 people. baltimore gas and electric, 217,000 plus there. so on and on and on, public service of new hampshire, 125, 190 but, again, that number keeps growing throughout the early morning hours. now, at 7.1 million customers without power, we talked a little earlier to quentin banks, a spokesman for the maryland emergency management agency. he gave us an update on what's happening there. >> our town on maryland's eastern shore had tidal surges
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of three to five feet and in many instances forced evacuation of many of the residents. some have actually gone to shelters while others are sheltering in place on the second floor of their homes. we're also very concerned about many of our critical care facilities. we have 24 of them and all of them are on generators all located across the state of maryland, hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. >> i understand 1,200 people were spending the night in 41 shelters. what else can you tell us about people? do you know if they're trapped? what's the 911 situation like? >> well, we had one fatality. we had a lady in montgomery county who hit an object after hydroplaning in her automobile. the fatality was confirmed by the state medical examiner's office. >> yeah, obviously the drive something treacherous. i see a report here of four
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tractor trailers becoming entangled on i-68 in western maryland which closed on the westbound lanes. what's the best advice for people? is much of the state going to be essentially shut down? >> the governor has personally advised folks to stay inside and off the roads. coming in to work this evening, that seems to be the case in most instances. >> that was the latest report there from maryland. we've been also talking about long island where there have been massive power outages and basically fire island is underwater. wnbc reporter greg sergel has been on the eastern side and what are you able to tell us tonight? >> well, the number of power outages across long island now up to 860,000, an all-time record set by gloria in 1985.
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more than 75% of the long island power authority's customer base that has no electricity right now. we also have one fatality that's been blamed on sandy. a man in nast awe county in the community of rosalyn was killed when a tree fell on him earlier this evening. he's not been identified yet. with that tragedy we've also had countless stories of heroism and had 12 firefighters rescued from the second floor of a home that they got caught in, rising floodwaters caught them in there and some of their colleagues and first responders had to come in and get them out. also in the riverhead area, members of a hospital here traveled to the east to a hospital in greenport that was being surrounded by floodwaters, they got 12 patients out of the hospital and took them by ambulance back here to riverhead to a hospital that's being run by generators and those folks
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are all doing well tonight, so tragedy, triumph and a lot of cleanup here on long island to come. >> have you had an opportunity and i don't know, obviously it's almost 2:30 in the morning but when is the last opportunity that you had, greg, to talk to officials on long island and are they telling people don't start the cleanup tomorrow? stay inside until further word, until emergency responders can really check out the situation? >> reporter: yeah, a couple of hours ago, the county executive in nassau county put out an order closing all roads in the county, just an unprecedented order but he did so just for that reason. the roads are covered with downed trees and power lines and they want first responders and cleanup crews to get out there and take care of those issues before drivers return to the roadways. the county executive basically said if you head out on the roadway you're putting yourself at significant risk and urged people to stay home until
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further notice and let the cleanup take place before you get back out there. >> and what's the latest information you can tell us on some of the water problems that they're seeing there? >> yeah, there's water problems in nassau county, two communities, the city of long beach and the community of milneck, both residents in those communities being told not to drink the water, not even to bathe in it. apparently there's been an issue in those communities with the pumps used to distribute the water to homes in those communities and officials are asking that the water not be used so that they can preserve what they have for the time being to deal with emergency situations like fires and the like, so for the time being, folks in those communities told not to drink water, not to bathe in it, not to use it at all until further notice. >> greg cergul, thank you so much for that update on long island. it is tuesday morning here on the east coast and that means the presidential election is one
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week from today. in american history, there's never been a natural disaster so close to a presidential election and political analysts will surely argue about the impact of this event on the election for many years to come but there are also potential constitutional questions. with such a widespread disaster, is it possible, is it even legal that a presidential election could be postponed? nbc news justice correspondent pete williams has been looking into that and he joins me live now from washington, d.c. what a guy, being up at 2:30 in the morning for us, but this is a question that i had myself. what did you find out, pete? >> well, the answer to both questions is, yes, it's possible. it's legal and i can almost guarantee it won't happen. now, the constitution says that congress has the authority to set the date for presidential elections and since the year 1845, it has said that the election will be the tuesday after the first monday in
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november. that's a federal statute, not the constitution that actually sets the date. and congress can easily change a law whenever it wants to but they would have to get with it right now to change it but there are lots of problems that come along with this, chris, and here's just a basic look at it. you know, congress sets the date for electing the electors who elect the president, but it's the states that run elections in the u.s. and there are all kinds of problems. first of all, very few states have a procedure for delaying or suspending elections. florida does. it has a lot of experience with hurricanes, but it's one of the few that actually sets out how you do this. secondly, it's one thing for a state when there's a statewide problem like a hurricane that affects polling places throughout the state but with a national election, sure, you're going to have a large part of the northeast affected by what's left of sandy, but out in the midwest and the west, they felt no experience from this whatsoever. so states in that part of the
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country probably wouldn't look too kindly on any effort to postpone elections. now, you could also say, oh, we are only going to postpone the presidential elections so the states can have their own elections but if they do that and separate out the presidential election for another day that would undoubtedly suppress the vote for the presidential election when that happened and there are all kinds of other questions that haven't been answered. if you postpone an election or set a new election date what do you do with the votes already counted? early voting is a big thing now in many states. and what about absentee votes? all those questions remain unanswered so finally, chris, consider this. not once in u.s. history, not for 9/11, not for disasters, not even the civil war has a presidential election been postponed. >> so state and local elections have been postponed because of natural disasters, but never anything at the national level? >> state and local elections get postponed all the time and as a matter of fact, in new york
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state, there was a primary on september 11th, on the day of the suicide hijackings and that election was suspended. but, in fact, it took the state a while to figure out how to do that because most states aren't accustomed to this. >> do you have any sense of what it would take, i mean would it have to be, for example, if this had happened one week from today then that might be a precipitating reason to do something this unprecedented? >> well, if it happened one week from today, in other words, if you knew that the hurricane was coming on monday, then presumably congress could scramble together. or all the states could agree to postpone the elections in their states. and, in fact, you know, if you think about it, the constitution although it does set next tuesday as the date for the election of the electors, the constitution also says that if the state doesn't get that done in time, then the legislature of the state can choose the
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presidential electors. so there are ways around this. but under the scenario we face now it seems virtually impossible that there's going to be any change like that. >> pete williams burping the midnight oil to answer our questions. thank you, pete. good to talk to you. "national journal's" governor chris christie publicly admonished the mayor of new york city where sandy made landfill and said that the mayor had ignored his warnings to evacuate residents. >> we're at the moment now evacuations are no longer possible and no longer able to cover the rescue people and that's become problematic in atlantic city where for whatever reason mayor langford urged them to stay in shelters in the city. despite my admonition to evacuate. >> well, a little earlier tonight msnbc's lawrence o'donnell spoke with wcau sidney long at one of the shelters in atlantic city where the residents are staying tonight.
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>> the weather is really turned wicked on the back end of sandy, especially in the last hour or so. we're here at atlantic city high school which is one of four locations set up at this shelter by the mayor of atlantic city and other emergency personnel despi despite governor's christie's orders for a mandatory evacuation that was supposed to happen sunday afternoon. in and around atlantic city early evening tonight i can tell you a number of the streets around those particular schools, those shelters, those locations were completely impassable so those shelters were basically on an island in and of themselves. we saw traffic signals, the big yellow traffic signals down in the street. you know, just in pieces, we've been in the high school since 7:30 tonight. when we arrived, we were told by
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the personnel here that the national guard troops and that's because, you know, police, fire, ems have been ordered to stand down through the night until about 7:00 tomorrow morning until this storm passes that they would not be able to respond. those emergency responders. but national guard troops, we can tell you, just within the last hour or so, brought about two dozen evacuees from two different schools, new york avenue school, southern avenue school in atlantic city, those schools are underwater. they are in the dark. they lost electricity. they lost their generator power about. about two dozen or so of those folks arrived just within the last hour or so. we understand there's probably about 50 or 75 evacuaees here. we have been trying through the evening to get in touch with the mayor of atlantic city and other emergency management folks. we have been unable to get comment from the mayor since governor christie's remarks
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earlier in the day, lawrence. >> so, cydn echey, it seems thae governor had the right advice and the mayor did not anticipate what was coming? >> reporter: you know, it does seem that way, i know they're in the thick of it right now, lawrence, we have not been able to touch base with mayor lorenzo langford, those focused on the people stuck at those locations. so clearly they are in the thick of this. they are trying to get those people, you know, to safer ground. but they're doing it in the dark and on these flooded, impassable roadways, so, you know, who knows what went into that decision-making wanting those people to stay on the barrier island despite governor christie's mandatory evacuation that was to take place clearly yesterday afternoon at 4:00. >> and this is a very significant dispute obviously, lives at stake but it is worth noting this is not the first time that the governor and the mayor have clashed.
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the governor wanting atlantic city to come back as a more broadly based resort, a family resort, had not been doing as well under the mayor's tutelage as a destination for gamblers and so the two of them have clashed before but this time obviously lives were at stake and we awe governor christie getting pretty angry at the decision by some people to stay behind and we are looking at one of the deadliest and certainly one of the most costly natural disasters in u.s. history. as a spokesman for con edison which is the electrical power company here in the new york city area put it, "this will be one for the record books" so our coverage will continue throughout the night and into the morning. you're watching msnbc. [ female announcer ] what does the anti-aging power
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take a look at this coast guard video of a rescue off the coast of north carolina after the "h.m.s. bounty" sunk in rough seas. we have just learned from the coast guard that a woman who was rescued from that ship has died. 42-year-old claudine christian was unresponsive and was later pronounced dead at a hospital. 14 other crew members, though, were rescued from the "h.m.s. bounty." this is a replica of an 18th century sailing vessel originally built for the 1962 film "mutiny on the bounty." the coast guard, however, still searching for the ship's captain. obviously that was a harrowing rescue. sandy wreaking havoc all across the eastern seaboard. the weather channel's reynolds wolf was in stonington, connecticut, earlier today and dealing with gale force winds as
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well as flooding. >> just over the last 20, 30 minutes, the wind has been unbelievable. this house hours ago was in fine shape but the waves have just been relentless, just pounding through. ripping away part of the outer wall. goodness gracious. part of the foundation of the house being sheared away. unbelievable. winds have been out of the north, power is out all over the peninsula. not expecting much improvements over the next several hours. my goodness, the wind has just been insane. we haven't seen much of a shift in the wind either. everything from north to south. all coming in just right off the water itself.
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some streets are flooded on the other side of the peninsula. some roadways are covered with water. it's coming up on that side too. trees, huge trees, some look like they've been there for over a century knocked down. branchs over many of the roadways. people going to wake up and this community is going to look very different.
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this is the scene in lower manhattan earlier tonight when a transformer blew. you can see it was caught from across the east river in brooklyn and we are dealing with major power outages here. i was just checking the front page of "the new york times" online. their headline is "havoc" as
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storm comes ashore, millions without power across the region. storm surge, floods, tums in manhattan. it is going to be a logistical nightmare here in new york for the millions of people who work here. nbc's michelle franzen -- we do not -- we don't have her yet. let me give you a little more information about what is happening in new york city because we do have a situation where they're going to have to go in in the morning. we know the tunnels are unflooded and unprecedented the kind of flooding we've been seeing in some of the subway tunnels. until we can start to move workers back into new york, this economy is going to be essentially shut down and we've already been told by the mayor as of last night that people need to stay home tomorrow, let the emergency crews do their thing. michelle franzen, we do have her at battery park city. this is the lower tip of manhattan and the storm surge there was a record high, more than 13 feet.
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michelle, what are you seeing there in the middle of the night. >> reporter: what we're seeing is we're experiencing those winds, chris, those sustained winds and we've seen the water recede over the course of this night but there's certainly a lot of residuals left over from what's happened throughout the night. we're also smelling a little bit of smoke in the area and it seems like an electrical sort of smell and we've had reports with wnbc, as well that seems to be what they're getting a sense throughout the city that some other people are having these reports too, so i'm sure that there's a lot of many activity going on underground given the water that has come into the neighborhoods and has, you know, compromised some areas including the tunnels, as well as the subways. and, you know, we are learning more as this water receded. you know, some of the damage that's been done, reports at the battery tunnel from end to end is just -- took in water and has
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water and many of the -- in and throughout the city so there's a lot of work that's going to have to be done. down at the southern tip, of course, as you mentioned, that record that was set, you know, nearly 14 feet, you know, coming -- water just coming through here in that area and flooding the streets for awhile all along the southern tip, not just in battery park city but all the way around to the east side. we saw images of people and waist high water up to their knees and cars that were sunk in that area. so a lot of -- a lot of damage, a lot of cleanup that crews will have to assess and get in there come daylight. but yet again, chris, we're dealing with these winds yet still not safe to go out even for a lot of these workers that have to go out and grade the elements and dangers there so there's a lot still at play
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throughout the night and these winds are supposed to carry us through for much of the day tomorrow. >> michelle, i want to tell people what we are looking at here. i don't know if you have a monitor where you are but there are tremendous fires that are raging in far rockaway in queens. we can listen in now. >> janice, where is the storm located right now? >> we just lost obviously their coverage of that and we'll check back in with wnbc if we get more information about what is going on. you can see those downed power lines in the shot. i am not able to see what's going on but when i was home in lower manhattan a little earlier this evening, a lot of sirens that were blaring throughout the night. i'm wondering if at this point you're hearing anything or seeing emergency crews down around where you are. >> earlier this evening, there was a lot of activity in and
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around, of course, the staten island ferry building and that section of battery park that was flooded, you know, around the subway station. but now it's got sort of an eerie quiet in this section where we're at except when those winds start whipping up again which is exactly what's happening right now. just huge gusts that are still coming through but i'm sure, you know, other areas of the city are really, really have far more activity on the other end of the southern tip than us. it's generally quiet right now. the water has receded but it's what we can't see, chris, that we don't know what that damage is -- those dangers present. >> without a doubt, michelle franzen, thank you very much, who is reporting from lower manhattan and, again, beneath, if you know anything about new york city, beneath 39th street which is really starting to approach midtown where we are here in the center of manhattan
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is 49th/50th street so ten blocks below us then the entire southern swath of manhattan is without power. this is the largest power outage in new york city history. and they had talked about being able to start to get some power back on potentially very early this morning but we've also heard reports it could be days and even longer so we're going to see some major impact from that here in manhattan and up and down the coast, again, the latest number, 7.1 million people who are without power. but that's just what we know tonight. that's just what's been reported. we also know that some of these high winds are moving into the midwest and there are lots of places there from indiana to ohio that are seeing power outages, as well. one of the things that we're watching, also that continuing dangerous situation in midtown manhattan where a crane has been dangling. high gust of wind seemed to look like it was going to topple and there were some things that
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actually were falling off that 74-story building. we are keeping our eye on that. we're going to take a break but throughout this morning as we continue to move forward meteorologist bill karins is here. we will talk to him and the political implications of this storm now on the east coast, one week from election day. we w
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reports that perhaps some of the new york city airports might be open tomorrow. all of them are officially closed. now, this is rare. airports often don't fly because the airlines decide not to fly because of weather or something else. but airports in new york city, the major ones, of course, being jfk, laguardia and newark all closed tomorrow, which will have a tremendous ripple effect not just here in the states but abroad. now, one of the ways to watch the storms' realtime response is in "national journal's" largest city. you just have to follow the amazing twitter feed of that city's mayor, cory booker. so this person tweets to cory
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booker. transformer went kaboom at riverview projects. the mayor tweets back, we'll alert the utility company and emergency crews, i'm five minutes from you and i'll do a drive-by. nine minutes later he says, gratitude at riverview with team helping get folks to shelter. thanks for the heads up. at 4:52 someone tweet, mr mr. mayor, underpass outsidenewark penn still has many homeless. 4:55 he tweets back, i'll head down to take a look with emergency personnel. by 5:46 less than an hour later there's this. thank you, just left. we were able to convince and transport 32 homeless brothers and sisters to shelter. now, there is a lot on the plate of a big city mayor on any day but there is a lot to be done to respond to a storm of this magnitude and sometimes that work gets done personally by the mayor himself. and earlier tonight mayor cory
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booker talked with msnbc's rachel maddow. >> we tried to convince an elderly woman to leave. she was in a wheelchair. she refused to go then her neighbor who was going to go with us looked at the woman, much younger african-american female and said i'm not leaving you here in this doorway alone and left to watch over her neighbor. really incredible stories, cab companies giving people free rides to shelters. so many things have inspired me, buoyed me. >> how hard has newark been hit and what are your biggest challenges as the storm continues to rage? >> we've got blackout conditions and storm waters raging and transformer fires and fortunately have them under check. when power goes out, you have a lot of desperate situations, people who rely on power for their medical conditions,
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elderly rely on power, as well, so we're going to have a lot of that right now. the biggest thing i worry about what i saw in irene is people not necessarily acting with common sense and becoming rescue situations themselves. last year we had a lot of people trying to drive through flooded streets, becoming stranded and having to be sort of marine rescued. often the biggest injuries we see come in the aftermath of storms, power lines are down, electricity is still flowing and dangers abound, so, you know, we've got folks spread all throughout the city working well, frankly, in tight coordination but with federal, state and local authorities, we had a conference call with the president, the governor was on it, myself and others so there's a lot of teamwork going on and learned a lot from past crises. [ "everybody have fun tonight" plays ] really catching on! people can do it all! get a quote, buy and manage your policy! -[ music stops ] -it's great! well, what's with the... -[ music resumes ] -music? ♪ have fun tonight
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